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Commenting on today’s Home Office Written Statement on Extremism, Tom Wilson, a Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society said:
“While it is encouraging that the government is taking the funding of the extremism seriously, we would have hoped that the Home Secretary would have provided far more detail on both groups receiving this funding and also where extremist foreign funding is originating from. We are surprised that specific countries of concern, such as Saudi Arabia, were not called out.
The government has a responsibility to name and shame countries, even if it causes diplomatic blushes. Clearly the government is within its rights to make a judgement about whether it would be appropriate to publish the full report. However, both the public and policy makers are entitled to be kept well informed about nature of this critical challenge.
In line with the recommendations in our recent report, the Home Secretary’s statement does task the Charity Commission with requiring that charities declare overseas funding. This will be an important step for increasing transparency. But more will need to be done. Once the new commission on extremism is established it should make efforts to combat the funding of extremism a matter of priority.”